Selling digital downloads online is a great way to earn an income, once you have the product created you can keep reselling it over and over for a fixed price with no extra production costs. That's why you see so many companies selling ebooks, software, WordPress plugins, music, video products and more - its a great model to get into and one that my own company pursues. Templatic have just released a new theme called Publisher which is aimed at this market, you can use this theme to sell digital goods from your own WordPress site, in this post I will be showing you how to install and configure it.
Install The Theme
Once you have purchased and download the theme zip file from Templatic, upload to your WordPress site and visit "Appearance" > "Themes" and you will see the theme listed, click the "Activate" link :
Once thats done, you will see a screen asking if you wish to populate sample data into your site, if its a fresh site you might as well install this data to get an idea of how it works and then you can remove it when you start to add your own.
Once the theme is activated you will see it has added two new menus - "Publisher" and "Products". The "Publisher" menu is everything related to your theme - design settings, emails, Paypal etc. The "Products" menu is everything related to the downloads you are going to be selling. Let's take a look at the "Publisher" menu first.
The first section of the "Publisher" menu is "Design Settings" and this contains everything you need to control the look of your site. It includes 6 different color schemes for you to choose from, logo and favicon upload along with RSS feed url if you use Feedburner. It also contains lots of settings to choose the layout, enable comments, navigation settings etc. You can also finely control the CSS colors and add your own Stylesheet if needed.
The next menu item is "Theme Settings" and this is where you control all other aspects of the site. You can configure emails that are sent out when someone purchases from you and the site notifications. You can choose whether to use the in-built selling system or you can use eJunkie to deliver your files.
There is a "Custom Fields" section which you will need to change depending on what type of digital files you sell. The site was populated with info for people selling eBooks, so this contains things like ISBN number, product dimensions etc. You would change this if you are selling, for example, Photoshop files - you would include filesize, versions compatible with etc.
Next up you have custom user info fields - this is for info that appears on a buyers profile page. And finally you have a scetion to enter your Paypal details so you can get paid!
The products menu is everything related to what you will be selling. The "Products" menu item contains a list of everything for sale, you can use this to go in and edit products or delete them.
Adding an Item
The next menu item is "Add Item", if you click this you will see it is like a normal post writing screen at the top but underneath you will see a lot more options. These are the custom fields you set up before where you can enter the price of the item and all the other details you set up :
The final menu items are "Product Categories" and "Product Tags" which are self-explanatory.
From my testing this looks to be a good solid theme if you need a solution to offer digital downloads from your blog. I haven't tested in a live environment so I cant comment fully on the functionality but from what I've seen on the back-end it has all the features you would need. I really like the custom fields setup page which will allow you to tailor this theme to any kind of digital product you wish to offer. As with all Templatic themes, the design is nice and clean looking and should allow for good customisation.